Easter weekend has always been important to my family, not just because of great food & egg hunts, but also because of our faith. I was raised in a Christian home that served & volunteered at church – a lot. This weekend always makes me nostalgic for Easters gone by.
One of my favorite Good Friday memories is the year Dino Pastin & I spent most of the morning staining & distressing a new cross that had been crafted for our Easter production. It had been made of brand new 2×4’s; which of course, we were grateful for, but it looked a little out of place onstage. Not only was it a great time to reminisce about previous Easter productions & childhood memories, it also gave us an amazing opportunity to contemplate the cross that Jesus carried for us.
Every swipe of the stain revealed twirls & waves in the wood. Wood from a tree created to sustain life through oxygenation, bird housing, or even as a source of heat – that was used as an instrument of death. Yet Christ’s death & resurrection, in turn, sustains our eternal life.
After distressing the wood with chains, hammers (& anything else we could find,) we also sanded off any rough spots we created, so that the gentlemen playing Jesus & Simon of Cyrene in our production (hopefully) wouldn’t get splinters. Yet no one did that for our Lord.
It was an incredible opportunity to stop all the busyness of an Easter production for a few hours and consider the details of the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NKJV)
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
May I never forget.